Work Permit

A work permit is a legal document which authorizes a foreign worker to work legally in Canada. Barring certain exceptions, most foreign temporary workers need this document to work. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) might also be required to enter Canada based of your country or residence or citizenship.

There are two different types of work permits:

  • Open Work Permit
  • Employer Specific Work Permit

Open Work Permit: With an open work permit you can work for any employer in Canada except one ones who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours. An open work-permit is non-job specific, therefore you will not need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to apply.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you are in one of the following situations:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada,
  • Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants,
  • Spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students,
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members,
  • Some temporary resident permit holders, or
  • Some young workers participating in special programs.

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.

Employer-Specific Work Permit: An employer-specific work permit allows a foreign worker to work for a specific employer for a certain amount of time. This type of work permit will include the name of the employer you can work for, the duration and location of work if applicable. It is also known as a closed-work permit and is often subject to a job offer by a Canadian employer supported by a positive LMIA which proves that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job which is being offered.

Eligibility: To find out if you are eligible to apply for a work permit, certain conditions need to be met. There are some general eligibility criteria and some of them depends on where you are applying for the work permit from.

General Requirements:

  • You must be able to prove that you will leave the country after your work permit expires.
  • Must not work for any employers who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours.
  • Must get your security and background check done and submit your police clearance certificate.
  • Must get your medical exam done.
  • Must have enough funds required to support yourself and your family members for the entire stay in Canada.

Where should you apply?

Foreign workers can always apply for a work permit at a visa office abroad R197. A work permit application must be made to an immigration office that serves either: the country in which the applicant is present and has been lawfully admitted; or the applicant’s country of nationality R11 (2). The respective office will  guide you on the documentation, fee and procedure. You also need to get your police clearance certificate issued from your consulate and medical examination conducted by a designated medical officer.

Temporary Resident Permit

Obtaining a temporary resident permit (“TRP”) to overcome a ground of inadmissibility. It requires proof that the economic benefits of having the person work in Canada outweighs the inadmissibility. The assistance of an immigration practitioner who is experienced in dealing with inadmissibility is generally recommended therefore we can help you with this. 

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